The state of Tamil Nadu is the Southernmost state in the Indian Union located between 8o 5’ and 13º 35’ N latitude and 76o 15’ and 80o 20’ E longitudes. Tamil Nadu is bounded on North by Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, on west by Kerala, on East by the Bay of Bengal and on south by Indian Ocean. Tamil Nadu has an area of 1,30,058 sq. km. The population of Tamil Nadu in 2001 was 6,21,00,389 comprising 3,12,68,654 males and 3,08,42,185 females. It formed 6 % of India’s population. Only 62% of Tamil Nadu population lived in villages. Population density in the state was 478 km2 The total area of 12.96 million has red soil occupied a major area of 61%, black soil 12%, alluvial soil 20% and laterite intermit soil 3%. Out of the 6.56 m.ha cultivated area about 6.7 lakh hectares have been affected by soil salinity.
Tamil Nadu lies in the agro climatic Zones X, XI and XII which is called Southern Plateau and Hills, East coast plains and Hills & West Cost plains and Ghat Region. Tamil Nadu was divided in the four Physiographic regions, Viz (i) The Coastal plains, (ii) The Eastern ghats, (iii) The Central Plateau, and (iv) The Western Ghats. Now it is divided in the 7 sub agro climatic Zones. ie.,Cauvery delta, North Eastern, Western, North Western, High Altitude, Southern and High rainfall. Most of Tamil Nadu state falls broadly into 4 major categories of soil viz. Black soil, Red soil, Laterite Soil and Alluvial soil. The day temperature ranges from 29o C (January) to 38o C (May) and Night temperature ranges from 19o C to 27o C. In hill regions like the Niligiri and Kodaikanal, the day temperature varies from 190 to 24oC and night temperature varied from 8 to 16o C. The normal annual rainfall in the state during 2000-2001 was 990 mm.
(c) Cropping Pattern
In the selected districts major crops grown are Jowar, Groundnut, Paddy, Black gram, Cotton, Turmeric, Coconut, Sugarcane, Tapioca, Tea, Coffee etc.
(d) Land holding:
Per cent area irrigated was about 32% under Not Having Tractor (NHT) category of farmers, while it was 70% under Having Tractor category of farmers. Cropping intensity was 160% under Not Having Tractor category of farmers, while it is was 176% under Having Tractor category of farmers. Majority of the farmers, i.e. about 61% have land holding upto 2 ha, 24% farmers have 2 to 4 ha. and only 12% farmers have above 4 ha. land under Not Having Tractor category of farmers have about 0.8% land in holding size upto 2 ha, 1% farmers have land holding of 2 to 4 ha and 2.2% farmers have land holding above 4 ha under Having Tractor category of farmers.
As in the rest of India, there has been a steady shift from animal power to electro-mechanical sources of power in Tamil Nadu although the rate of change has been slower than that of the leading agricultural States. The availability of power is estimated at 0.78 kW/ha. Out of this about 90% comes from tractors, engines and motors.